Voices of the First World War

In 1960, the Imperial War Museum began the important task of capturing the first-hand experiences of servicemen that fought during the Great War. A team of academics, archivists and volunteers set about tracing WWI veterans and interviewing them at length in order to record the experiences of ordinary individuals in war. The IWM Voices of the First World War aural archive has thus become one of the most important archives of its kind in the world. There are a total of fifty episodes covering every aspect of the war.

In 1978 524 L-Cpl Fred Russell, 22nd Battalion AIF, became one of the scores of servicemen interviewed and his graphical recollection of events can now be listened to in the three tape, ninety-minute interview available on the IWM website. After the war Fred continued his association with the 22nd Battalion becoming its secretary from its inauguration to his death in 1978, after which the role has been continued by his son Ian Russell. Click on the link below to listen to L-Cpl Russell’s illuminating and lucid memories of his time in the Great War.

Russell, Frederick Charles (Oral history) | Imperial War Museums (iwm.org.uk)

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